H. Reporting Procedures
The following documents are critical to the process of establishing
the payment of stipends and other costs, as well as the determination
of possible payback service.
1. Activation Notice
Immediately upon the initiation of training, the individual completes
and signs the Activation Notice (Form PHS 416-5), obtains the
signature of the designated sponsoring institution officials,
and forwards the notice along with the Payback Agreement (postdoctoral
fellows in their first 12 months of NRSA support only) to the
NIH awarding office. An Activation Notice is enclosed with all
For fellows paid directly by NIH, the Activation Notice
is required at the start of each award year. The forms should
not be submitted before he or she actually begins training. Stipend
checks are issued when both the Activation Notice and the Payback
Agreement (postdoctoral fellows in their first 12 months of NRSA
support only) are received by the awarding office.
For fellows whose stipend is paid through the institution,
the Activation Notice is required for the initial year only.
The Notice may be submitted up to 30 days before the individual
begins training if necessary for payroll purposes. However, the
institution must not release any funds until the individual has
actually started training. Furthermore, if the individual
does not begin research training on the day indicated, the institution
must notify the NIH awarding office immediately. Continuation
awards must be activated on the day following termination of the
previous award period.
2. Payback Agreement
A National Research Service Award Payback Agreement (Form PHS
6031) must be signed by each person who is to receive an individual
postdoctoral fellowship that covers their initial 12 months of
NRSA postdoctoral support. If the individual has already received
12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support under any grant or award,
this form is not required. For detail on NRSA payback, see Section
3. Termination Notice
The Termination Notice (Form PHS 416-7)(along with the Activation
Notice and the Notice of Research Fellowship Award) is the basis
for establishing the amount of payback obligation for each NRSA
fellow. For individual fellowships, a Termination Notice is sent
to the fellow by the awarding office prior to the scheduled termination
date. For early terminations, the forms will be issued immediately
upon receipt of notification from the fellow or an authorized
institutional official. This form must be completed and returned
to the awarding office immediately. The lack of timely and accurate
information on this form could adversely affect the payback process.
4. Consecutive Support
If a fellow switches from one NRSA grant mechanism to another,
including from one awarding office to another, the requirement
for payback service incurred is deferred until the total NRSA
support is completed. All fellowship applications are reviewed
to determine if previous NRSA support has been provided.
Reports, Financial Status Reports, Changes in the Project
1. Progress Reports
Progress reports must be submitted with all applications for non-competing
continuation support in accordance with the instructions accompanying
the application forms. Inadequate or incomplete progress reports
may be returned to the fellow for revision and may result in a
delay of continued support. For individual awards the final progress
report is required as part of the Termination Notice.
2. Financial Status Report
An annual or final Financial Status Report is not required on
individual awards. In the event of early termination, the stipend
will be prorated according to the amount of time spent in training
and the Notice of Research Fellowship Award will be revised.
The balance of any institutional allowance (at least 1/2) must
be refunded if the training has been for six months or less.
3. Changes in the Project
Individual awards are made for training at a specific institution
under the guidance of a particular sponsor. A transfer of the
award to another institution or a change in sponsor and/or project
requires the approval of the NIH awarding office. As part of
that approval process, if a fellow sponsored by a domestic non-Federal
institution requests a transfer to another domestic non-Federal
institution before the end of the current award year, the initial
institution may be requested to continue to pay the stipend until
the end of the current year. Disposition of the institutional
allowance is negotiable between the two sponsoring institutions.
Transfers involving Federal or foreign sponsoring institutions
require unique administrative procedures and approvals. Regardless
of the type of sponsoring institution involved, since each transfer
varies depending upon individual circumstances, the NIH awarding
office should be contacted for specific guidance.
Any proposed change in the individual's specified area of research
training must be reviewed and approved in writing by the awarding
office to assure that the training continues to be an area that
falls within the scientific area of the original peer reviewed
An interim sponsor must be named by the institution and approved
in writing by the awarding office when the sponsor is going to
be absent for a period of more than three months.
J. Other Terms and Conditions
a. Vacations and Holidays
Fellows may receive the same vacations and holidays available
to individuals in comparable training positions at the grantee
or sponsoring institution. Fellows shall continue to receive
stipends during vacations and holidays. At academic institutions,
the time between semesters or academic quarters is generally considered
an active part of the training period.
b. Sick Leave and Other Leave
Fellows may continue to receive stipends for up to 15 calendar
days of sick leave per year. Under exceptional circumstances,
this period may be extended by the awarding office in response
to a written request from the sponsor, countersigned by an authorized
institutional official. Sick leave may be used for the medical
conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth.
c. Parental Leave
Fellows may also receive stipends for up to 30 calendar days of
parental leave per year for the adoption or the birth of a child
when those in comparable training positions at the grantee or
sponsoring institution have access to paid leave for this purpose.
Either parent is eligible for parental leave. In the case of
individual fellowships, the use of parental leave requires approval
by the sponsor.
A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may not
be made from grant funds for leave not taken.
d. Unpaid Leave
Individuals requiring extended periods of time away from their
research training experience, which could include more than 15
calendar days of sick leave or more than 30 calendar days of parental
leave must seek approval for an unpaid leave of absence. Approval
for a leave of absence must be requested in advance from the awarding
office. Fellows must provide a letter of support from the sponsor,
countersigned by an authorized institutional official, and must
advise the awarding office of the dates of the leave of absence.
Upon approval of the request, the awarding office will issue
a revised Notice of Research Fellowship Award extending the termination
date of the current budget period by the number of months of the
leave. A restriction will be included in the terms and conditions
of the award precluding the expenditure of funds from the fellowship
during the period of the leave of absence.
During a leave of absence, documentation to suspend the award
and/or the accrual of service for calculating the payback obligation
must be completed.
An individual award may be terminated prior to its normal expiration
date at the written request of the recipient, or by the Director,
NIH, if it is found that the recipient has materially failed to
comply with the terms and conditions of the award or to carry
out the purpose for which it was made. In the event an award
is terminated for cause, the Director, NIH, shall notify the awardee
in writing of this determination, the reasons therefore, the effective
date, and the right to appeal the decision.
Fellows are encouraged to submit reports of their findings for
publication to the journals of their choice. Responsibility for
direction of the project should not be ascribed to NIH. Awarding
office support must be acknowledged by a footnote in language
similar to the following: "This Investigation was supported
by National Institutes of Health, National Research Service Award
(number) from the (awarding office)." In addition,
it is now mandated that all grantees funded with Federal dollars,
in whole or in part, acknowledge Federal funding when issuing
statements, press releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations
and other documents. Grantees are required to state (1) the percentage
and dollar amounts of the total program or project costs financed
with Federal money, and (2) the percentage and dollar amount of
the total costs financed by nongovernmental sources.
Except as otherwise provided in the conditions of the award, when
publications or similar copyrightable materials are developed
from work supported by NIH the author is free to arrange for copyright
without awarding office approval. Any such copyrighted material
shall be subject to royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable
license to the Government to reproduce them, translate them, publish
them, use and dispose of them, and to authorize others to do so
for Government purposes.
No fellowship grant made by NIH primarily to an awardee for educational
purposes for training other than at NIH will contain any provision
giving NIH any rights to inventions made by the awardee. Fellows
training at NIH are bound by all provisions of Executive Order
10096 and any orders, rules, regulations or issuances thereunder
wherein NIH determines the rights of the Government and the fellow
in (and to) inventions conceived or actually reduced to practice
during the period of fellowship.
6. Disposition of Professional Fees
Fees resulting from clinical practice, professional consultation,
or other comparable activities performed pursuant to the purpose
of the award may not be retained by the fellow. Such fees will
be assigned to the sponsoring institution for disposition in accordance
with NIH policy on grant-related (program) income (see
Management Systems and Procedures
Income" in Part II of this policy statement). The term
fees" does not apply to honoraria, fees for scholarly writing,
delivery of occasional outside lectures, or service in an advisory
capacity to public or private non-profit organizations. These
fees, if within institutional policy, may be retained by the awardee.
7. Human Subjects/Animal Welfare/Recombinant
a. Human Subjects
The HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects provide
a systematic means, based on established, internationally recognized
ethical principles, to safeguard the rights and welfare of individuals
who participate as subjects in research activities supported or
conducted by HHS. The regulations stipulate that the sponsoring
institution, whether domestic or foreign, bears responsibility
for safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects in HHS-supported
research activities. The regulations require that the sponsoring
institution file a written Assurance of Compliance with the Office
for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR). If a project involves
nonexempt human subjects research, certification that an appropriate
Institutional Review board has reviewed and approved the proposed
activity is also required.
For additional information on human subjects requirements, please
refer to the Individual NRSA application kit or contact the Office
for Protection from Research Risks, National Institutes of Health,
6100 Executive Blvd., Suite 3B01, Mail Stop Code 7507, Bethesda,
MD 20892-7507, Telephone: (301) 496-7041.
b. Vertebrate Animals
The PHS Policy on Humane
Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
requires that sponsoring institutions (foreign or domestic) proposing
to use vertebrate animals file a written Animal Welfare Assurance
with the OPRR, establishing appropriate policies and procedures
to ensure the humane care and use of live vertebrate animals involved
in research activities supported by NIH. Verification of the
date the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approved
the project is also required.
For additional information on vertebrate animals, please refer
to the Individual NRSA application kit or contact the Office for
Protection from Research Risks, National Institutes of Health,
6100 Executive Blvd., Suite 3B01, Mail Stop Code 7501, Bethesda,
MD 20892-7507, Telephone: (301) 496-7163.
c. Recombinant DNA
The current NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant
DNA Molecules and announcements of modifications and changes
to the Guidelines are available from the Office of Recombinant
DNA Activities, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.
All research involving recombinant DNA techniques that is supported
by HHS must meet the requirements of these Guidelines.
III. Institutional National Research
Service Awards (Training Grants)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will award National Research
Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grants (T32s, T34s,
& T35s) to eligible institutions to develop or enhance research
training opportunities for individuals, selected by the institution,
who are training for careers in specified areas of biomedical
and behavioral research. The purpose of the NRSA program is to
help ensure that highly trained scientists are available in adequate
numbers and in the appropriate research areas and fields to carry
out the Nation's biomedical and behavioral research agenda. The
NRSA program supports both predoctoral and postdoctoral research
training as well as limited specialized support at the prebaccalaureate
level. Note, all NIH awarding offices except the Fogarty International
Center (FIC) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) make institutional
awards under NRSA. FIC & NLM have unique funding authorities
for training grants that are not under the NRSA.
a. Applicant Eligibility
A domestic, non-profit public or private institution may apply
for a grant to support a research training program in a specified
area(s) of research. Support for predoctoral, postdoctoral, or
a combination of trainees may be requested. (Specific program
announcements should be referred to for awarding office guidelines.)
Support for short-term training positions for students in health-professional
degree programs may also be requested as indicated under 2.c.
below. Each applicant institution must submit an application
according to instructions, using the appropriate forms (see Section
b. Research Areas
National Research Service Awards may be made for research training
in areas which fall within the mission of the NIH ICs. Applications
which do not fit these areas will be returned. An increased emphasis
has been placed on the research training of physicians. The Secretary,
DHHS is required by law, in taking into account the overall national
needs for biomedical research personnel, to give special consideration
to physicians who agree to undertake a minimum of two consecutive
years of biomedical and behavioral research training.
The applicant institution must have a strong research program
in the area(s) proposed for research training and must have the
requisite staff and facilities required to carry out the proposed
program. The research training program director at the grantee
institution will be responsible for the selection and appointment
of trainees and the overall direction of the training program.
In selecting trainees, the program director must make certain
that individuals receiving support meet the eligibility requirements
set forth in these guidelines.
Trainees appointed to the training program must have the opportunity
to carry out supervised biomedical or behavioral research with
the primary objective of developing or extending their research
skills and knowledge in preparation for a research career.
c. Research Training Program
The National Research Service Award must be used to support a
program of research training. The NRSA may not support studies
leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., or other clinical,
health professional degrees; nor to support residencies, the primary
purpose of which is the attainment of a medical or nursing specialty.
Research trainees in clinical areas are expected to devote full
time to the proposed research training. During the 40 hours per
week required for research training, any clinical duties should
be confined to those which are part of the research training.
2. Degree Requirements
a. Predoctoral Training
Predoctoral research training is for individuals who have a baccalaureate
degree and are enrolled in a doctoral program leading to the either
the Ph.D. degree, a comparable research doctoral degree, or the
combined M.Dindex.htmPh.D. Students enrolled in health-professional
programs that are not part of a formal, combined program (i.e.,
M.Dindex.htmPh.D.) and who wish to postpone their professional studies
in order to gain research experience, may also be appointed to
a T32 grant. Predoctoral research training must emphasize fundamental
training in areas of basic biomedical and behavioral sciences.
b. Postdoctoral Training
Postdoctoral research training is for individuals who have received
a Ph.D., an M.D., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited
domestic or foreign institution. Research training at the postdoctoral
level must emphasize specialized training to meet national research
priorities in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.
Research training grants are a desirable mechanism for the postdoctoral
training of physicians and other health professionals who may
have had extensive clinical training but limited research experience.
For such individuals, the training may be a part of a research
degree program. In all cases, health-professional postdoctoral
trainees should agree to engage in at least 2 years of research,
research training, or comparable experiences beginning at the
time of appointment since the duration of training has been shown
to be strongly correlated with post-training research activity.
c. Short-Term Research Training
Students in Health Professional Schools. NIH offers two short-term
training programs; those which are part of a traditional institutional
training grant (T32) and those which exclusively support short-term
trainees (T35). These short-term research training experiences
of two to three months are available to students in health professional
schools. All short-term training must be full-time. Unless otherwise
stated, provisions for institutional training grants apply. Current
stipend levels are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and
(1) T32 T32 applications may include a request for short-term
positions reserved specifically to train medical or other health-professional
students on a full-time basis during the summer or other "off-quarter"
periods. Short-term appointments are intended to provide health-professional
students with opportunities to participate in biomedical and/or
behavioral research in an effort to attract these individuals
into research careers.
To be eligible for short-term research training positions, health-professional
students must have completed at least one quarter at an accredited
health-professional school leading to a clinical doctorate prior
to participating in the program. Trainees need not be enrolled
at the applicant institution. Individuals matriculated in a formal
research degree program, or those holding an M.S., a Ph.D., an
M.Dindex.htmPh.D. or an equivalent graduate level research degree are
not eligible. Within schools of pharmacy, only individuals who
are candidates for the Pharm. D. degree are eligible.
Short-term positions should be longer than 2 months but may not
last longer than 3 months. Students should be encouraged to obtain
two or more periods of short-term research training during their
studies leading to a health-professional degree. Such appointments
may be consecutive or may be reserved for summers or other "off-quarter"
Since some NIH Institutes support short-term research training
positions on a limited basis, applicants are strongly urged to
contact the appropriate NIH awarding office before requesting
short-term research training positions as part of a T32 application.
(2) T35 Several NIH awarding offices provide short-term
research using a separate training grant mechanism (T35). The
program intent and student eligibility requirements are similar
to those indicated above. However, since this NRSA funding mechanism
is used by only a few NIH awarding offices, interested applicants
are encouraged to contact specific awarding offices for details.
d. Prebaccalaureate Training
Under the auspices of the institutional undergraduate NRSA (T34),
two distinct programs for prebaccalaureate training are offered.
Both programs are designed to support students from institutions
with a substantial minority enrollment.
(1) The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
administers The MARC Undergraduate Student Training and Research
(U*STAR) program. Formerly know as Honors Undergraduate Research
Training Program (HURT), this training program is designed to
support selected junior/senior undergraduate honors students at
baccalaureate colleges and universities.
NIGMS recognizes that because of the heterogeneity at minority
institutions there are differences in institutional missions.
Therefore, the emphasis of this program will be on the specific
objectives and measurable goals which the applicant institution
sets for itself as being achievable. For more information on
this program, contact:
MARC Program, NIGMS
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Phone: (301) 594-3900, Fax: (301) 480-2753
(2) The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) administers
The Career Opportunities in Research (COR) Education and Training
Program. The intent of this program is to strengthen research
and research training experiences in scientific disciplines related
to mental health. An applicant institution (a four-year college
or university) must propose a two-year COR Honors Undergraduate
Program for which six to ten highly talented third and fourth-year
undergraduate students will be selected. Students will be provided
with special research training experiences designed to improve
their qualifications for entry into advanced research training
programs leading to the doctoral-level or M.D. research career
degrees. For more information on this program contact:
Office of Special Populations/NIMH
Parklawn Building, Room 17C14
Rockville, MD 20852
The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a non-citizen
national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for
permanent residence at the time of appointment. A non-citizen
national is a person, who, although not a citizen of the United
States, owes permanent allegiance to the U. S. They are generally
persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g.;
American Samoa and Swains Island). Individuals who have been
lawfully admitted for permanent residence must be in possession
of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551),
or must be in possession of other legal verification of such status.
For example, if an individual is in possession of the proper
validation on their passport, a notarized photocopy of the passport
could suffice. Since there is a six-month limitation on this
validation, it is the responsibility of the grantee institution
to follow-up and assure that the individual received the I-551
prior to the six month expiration date.
A notarized statement verifying possession of permanent residency
documentation must be submitted with the Statement of Appointment
Form (PHS Form 2271). Individuals on temporary or student visas
are not eligible for support from the NRSA.
B. Applications and Receipt Dates
The application for the institutional training grant is Form PHS
398. It contains special instructions for Institutional National
Research Service Awards. Application kits containing forms, instructions,
and related information may be obtained from:
The Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources,
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910
2. Receipt Dates
Many of the NIH awarding offices receive training grant applications
three times each year. Some awarding offices have only one or
two receipt date(s). Information on receipt dates is available
in the NIH-wide T32 Information Statement or in RFAs issued by
the individual awarding offices. See Appendix 2 for a complete
listing of the current receipt dates and review cycle.
Applicants are encouraged to contact appropriate NIH staff before
preparing and submitting an application.
Each initial and competing continuation application will be evaluated
for scientific merit by a NIH peer review group. Institutional
applications must also be reviewed by the appropriate Council
or Board of the IC whose activities relate to the proposed research
Institutional applications will be evaluated using criteria such
as: a) past research training record of both the program and
the designated preceptors; b) objectives, design, and direction
of the research training program; c) caliber of preceptors as
researchers including successful competition for research support;
d) recruitment and selection plans for trainees and the availability
of high quality candidates; and e) the institutional training
environment including the level of institutional commitment, quality
of the facilities, availability of appropriate courses, and the
availability of research support.
In addition, where appropriate, the record of the research training
program in retaining health-professional postdoctoral trainees
for at least two years in research training or other research
activities; and the concomitant training of health-professional
postdoctorates (e.g., individuals with the M.D., D.O., D.D.S.)
with basic science postdoctorates (e.g., individuals with a Ph.D.,
Sc.D.) or linkages with basic science departments will receive
While overall criteria are described above, applicants are encouraged
to consult the PHS 398 application kit, the NIH T32 program announcement
and/or specific awarding office program announcements for specific
2. Short-Term Research Training Positions
In addition to the overall program criteria described above, applications
that request shortterm research training positions in conjunction
with full-time positions will also be assessed using specific
criteria. The NIH T32 program announcement and/or specific awarding
office program announcements should be consulted for details.
3. Minority Recruitment Plan
The NRSA institutional training grant program must provide for
the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented
minority groups including, but not limited to, African Americans,
Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and Pacific
Islanders. All competing applications for institutional NRSA
research training grants must include a specific plan to recruit
minorities, and competing continuation applications also must
include a report on the recruitment and retention record during
the previous award period. If an application is received without
a plan, or without a report on the previous award period, the
application will be considered incomplete and may be returned
to the applicant without review. Additional information on this
requirement is available in the NIH T32 Program Announcement.
Competing continuation applications for research training grants
must include a detailed section on the outcomes of the minority
recruitment plan proposed in the previous competing application.
Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment
strategies. The report should provide information on the racial/ethnic
- Students and/or postdoctorates in the department(s) relevant
to the training grant;
- Individuals who applied for research training;
- Individuals who were offered admission; and
- Individuals who were appointed to the research training grant.
For those trainees who were appointed to the grant, the report
should include information about the duration of research training
and whether those trainees have finished their training in good
Peer reviewers will examine and evaluate the minority recruitment
plan and any record of recruitment and retention after the overall
educational and technical merit of an application has been assessed
so that the quality of the plan will not be a factor in determining
the priority score. For competing continuation applications,
the reviewers will examine and evaluate the record of the program
in recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority trainees
during the previous award period. The panel also will consider
whether the experience in recruitment during the previous award
period has been incorporated into the formulation of the recruitment
plan for the next award period.
The findings of the panel will be included in an administrative
note in the summary statement. If the minority recruitment plan
of the application is judged to be unacceptable, funding will
be withheld until a revised plan that addresses the deficiencies
is received. Staff within the NIH awarding office, with guidance
from the appropriate national advisory committee or council, will
determine whether amended plans and reports submitted after the
initial review are acceptable.
Information on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented
minority trainees appointed during the previous period must also
be provided in progress reports included in all non-competing
4. Training in the Responsible Conduct
of Research Training
All competing NRSA institutional training grant applications must
include a description of the formal and informal activities related
to instruction on the responsible conduct of research that will
be incorporated into the proposed research training program.
Every prebaccalaureate, pre and postdoctoral NRSA trainee must
receive instruction on the responsible conduct of research. Applications
must include a description of a program to provide formal or informal
instruction in scientific integrity and/or the responsible conduct
of research, as follows:
- Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or
formal requirements, all programs are encouraged strongly to consider
instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible
authorship, policies for handling misconduct, policies regarding
the use of human and animal subjects, and data management. Within
the context of training in scientific integrity it is also beneficial
to discuss the mutual responsibilities of the institution and
the trainees participating in the program.
- Plans must address the subject matter of the instruction,
the format of the instruction, the degree of faculty participation,
trainee attendance requirements, and the frequency of instruction.
The rationale for the proposed plan of instruction must be provided.
- Program reports on the type of instruction provided, topics
covered, and other relevant information, such as attendance by
trainees and faculty participation, must be included in future
competing continuation and noncompeting applications.
Applications without plans for instruction in the responsible
conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be returned
to the applicant without review.
NIH encourages institutions to provide instruction in the responsible
conduct of research to all individuals in a training program or
department, regardless of the source of support.
NIH initial review groups will assess the applicant's plans on
the basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and
nature of faculty participation, and the frequency and duration
of instruction. The plan will be discussed after the overall
determination of merit, so that the quality of the plan will not
be a factor in the determination of the priority score. Plans
will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable. The acceptability
of the plan will be described in an administrative note on the
summary statement. Regardless of the priority score, applications
with unacceptable plans will not be funded until a revised, acceptable
plan is provided by the applicant. The acceptability of the revised
plan will be judged by staff within the NIH awarding office.
Following initial review, applications undergo a second level
review by the appropriate NIH institute or center council, board,
or other advisory group. These advisory groups will consider,
in addition to the assessment of the scientific and educational
merit of the research training grant application, the initial
review group's comments on the recruitment of individuals from
underrepresented minority groups into the research training program
and the plan for instruction in the responsible conduct of research.
Information on the nature of the instructions in the responsible
conduct of science and the extent of trainee and faculty participation
must also be provided in progress reports included in all non-competing
D. Notification of Action
Shortly after the initial review meeting, each applicant will
be sent a mailer that includes the SRG recommendation/priority
score and the name of a program official in the assigned NIH awarding
office. The awarding office automatically forwards a copy of
the summary statement to the applicant as soon as possible after
receipt from the SRG. The applicant will be notified by letter
concerning the final review recommendation. A Notice of Grant
Award will be issued to applicants selected for funding. Any
questions about initial review recommendations and funding possibilities
should be directed to the appropriate awarding office program
official, not the scientific review administrator of the SRG.
E. Period of Support
1. Institutional Grants
Grants may be made for competitive segments of up to five years
and are renewable. Awards within an approved competitive segment
are normally made in 12-month increments with support for additional
non-competitive years dependent upon satisfactory progress and
availability of funds.
Trainees are customarily appointed for full-time 12-month continuous
periods. An appointment or reappointment may not exceed 12 months
without prior approval by the NIH awarding office. All trainees
are required to pursue their research training on a full-time
basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by
the grantee institution in accordance with its own policies.
The amount of the stipend, tuition and fees for each full period
of appointment must be obligated from funds available at the time
the individual begins training unless other instructions are furnished
by the awarding office.
With the exception of specifically designated short-term research
training positions, no trainee may be appointed under a regular
institutional grant for a period of less than nine months except
with the prior written approval of the awarding office and then
usually only to complete a planned program of training. An initial
appointment of less than nine months may be allowed as long as
an assurance is included that the individual will be immediately
reappointed in the subsequent year so that the cumulative continuous
training period is at least nine months.
3. NRSA Limitations
No individual trainee may receive more than five years of aggregate
NRSA support at the predoctoral level and three years of aggregate
NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination
of support from institutional and individual awards. Any exception
to this requires a waiver from the Director of the awarding office
or designee based on review of justification from the individual
and grantee institution. The grounds for approving extensions
of support are as follows:
Individuals requiring additional time to complete training, either
as a participant in a combined M.D.-Ph.D. program or as clinicians
(e.g., physicians, dentists, veterinarians) who are completing
postdoctoral research training, may anticipate favorable consideration
of a request for waiver of the time limitation. This action is
contingent upon certification of the recipient's good academic
standing and justified need for the exception to policy.
b. Interruptions (Break-in-Service)
Requests for additional time will also be considered if an event
unavoidably has altered the planned course of the research training;
the interruption has significantly detracted from the nature or
quality of the planned research training; and if a short extension
would permit completion of the training as planned. Such events
include sudden loss of the preceptor's services or an accident,
illness, or other personal situation which prevents a trainee
from pursuing research training in an effective manner for a significant
period of time. Requests for extension of support will also be
considered if a short additional period would provide the trainee
an opportunity to use an exceptional training resource directly
related to the approved research training program.
c. Other Exceptions
Requests that do not arise from circumstances considered in 3.a
or 3.b above will be considered if they are accompanied by an
exceptionally strong justification. Requests must be made in
writing to the NIH awarding office by the trainee. The trainee's
program director and an authorized institutional official, must
endorse the request certifying the need for additional support.
The request must include a sound justification and specify the
amount of additional support for which approval is sought. Requests
must be approved by the Director of the awarding office or designee.
F. Initiation of Support
A Notice of Grant Award is issued to the grantee institution,
normally with a budget period of 12 months. A predoctoral or
postdoctoral trainee may be appointed at any time during the course
of the budget period for an appointment period of 9 to 12 months,
without prior approval by the awarding office.
At the time of the initial appointment and subsequent reappointments,
the training program director must submit a Statement of
Appointment Form to the awarding office. Additionally, a signed
Payback Agreement must be submitted for each postdoctoral trainee
who is in his/her first 12 months of NRSA postdoctoral support.
(See Sections H.1. and 2 for specific information on required
forms). The Statement of Appointment Form includes biographical
data on the trainee and the stipend level for the period of appointment.
The stipend is paid by the grantee institution directly to the
G. Financial Provisions
A stipend is provided as a subsistence allowance for trainees
and fellows to help defray living expenses during the research
training experience. It is not provided as a condition of employment
with either the Federal Government or the grantee institution.
Stipends must be paid in accordance with established stipend
levels. No departure from the standard stipend schedule, as provided
from the grant, may be negotiated by the grantee institution with
the trainee. For appointments of less than 12 months, the stipend
will be prorated.
Stipend levels are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and
Contracts. That publication should be reviewed for any changes
to stipend levels.
Two separate levels are provided for trainees: Freshman/Sophomore
One stipend level is used for all predoctoral individuals regardless
of the level of experience.
The stipend level for the entire first year of support is determined
by the number of full years of relevant postdoctoral experience
at the time of appointment. Relevant experience may include research
experience (including industrial), teaching assistantship, internship,
residency, clinical duties, or other time spent in a health related
field beyond that of the qualifying doctoral degree. Once the
appropriate stipend level has been determined, the trainee must
be paid at that level for the entire period of appointment. The
stipend for each additional year of NRSA support is the next level
in the stipend structure and does not change mid-year.
b. Stipend Supplementation
Trainees are supported for 12-month full-time training appointments
for which they receive stipends to defray living expenses. Stipends
may be supplemented by an institution from non-Federal funds provided
this supplementation is without obligation to the trainee. An
institution can determine what amount of stipend supplementation,
if any, will be provided according to its own formally established
policies governing stipend support. These policies must be consistently
applied to all individuals in a similar training status regardless
of the source of funds. Federal funds may not be used for stipend
supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms
of the program from which funds are derived. An individual may
make use of Federal educational loan funds or V.A. benefits when
permitted by those programs as described below in paragraphs G.1.d
and e. Under no circumstances may PHS funds be used for supplementation.
c. Student Compensation
It is recognized that trainees as students may seek part-time
employment coincidental to their training program in order to
further offset their expenses. In circumstances of actual employment,
the funds provided as compensation (salary or tuition remission)
for services rendered, such as teaching or laboratory assistance,
are not considered stipend supplementation. Funds characterized
as compensation may be paid to trainees when there is an employer-employee
relationship, the payments are for services rendered, and the
situation otherwise meets the conditions of the compensation of
students as detailed in
"Allowability of Costs/Activities
Items of Cost Salaries and Wages
of Students" in Part II of this policy statement. Under
these conditions trainees may be compensated for actual employment
on Federal grants, including PHS research grants. However, it
is expected that compensation from research grants will occur
on a limited part-time basis for employment apart from the normal
full-time training activities.
Compensation may not be paid from a research grant which supports
the same research that is part of the trainee's planned training
experience as approved in the training grant application. Institutional
training grant program directors must approve all instances of
employment on research grants in order to verify that the circumstances
will not detract from or prolong the approved training program.
Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation
or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract
from, or prolong the trainee's approved NRSA training program.
Additionally, compensation must be in accordance with institutional
policies applied consistently to both federally and non-federally
supported activities and supported by acceptable accounting records
determined by the employer-employee relationship agreement.
d. Concurrent Benefits
A National Research Service Award may not be held concurrently
with another Federally-sponsored fellowship or similar Federal
award which provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions
of the NRSA.
e. Educational Loans or GI Bill
An individual may accept concurrent educational remuneration from
the Department of Veterans Affairs (GI Bill) and Federal educational
loan funds. Such funds are not considered supplementation or
compensation. In the case of the MARC-USTAR program, funds from
a PELL grant may be accepted as well.
f. Taxability of Stipends
Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code applies to the tax treatment
of scholarships and fellowships. The Tax Reform Act of 1986,
Public Law 99-514, impacts on the tax liability of all individuals
supported under the NRSA program. New statutory requirements
were effective as of January 1, 1987. Degree candidates may now
exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for
course tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies
and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified
educational organization. Non-degree candidates are now required
to report as gross income all stipends and any monies paid on
their behalf for course tuition and fees required for attendance.
The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the relationship
between NRSA trainees and institutions. NRSA stipends are not
considered salaries. In addition, trainees supported under the
NRSA are not considered to be in an employee-employer relationship
with the NIH or the grantee institution.
It must be emphasized that the interpretation and implementation
of the tax laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service
and the courts. NIH takes no position on what the status may
be for a particular taxpayer, and it does not have the authority
to dispense tax advice. Individuals should consult their local
IRS office about the applicability of the law to their situation
and for information on their tax obligations.
g. Form 1099
Since stipends are not considered salaries, for the purposes of
income tax reporting, stipend payments should be reported on the
IRS Form 1099, Statement of Miscellaneous Income. The business
office of the grantee institution will be responsible for the
annual preparation and issuance of the IRS Form 1099 for trainees.
h. Employee Benefits
Since NRSA awards are not provided as a condition of employment
with either the Federal government or the grantee institution,
it is inappropriate and unallowable for institutions to seek funds
for or to charge institutional training grants awards for costs
that would normally be associated with employee benefits (for
example, FICA, workman's compensation, and unemployment insurance).